A man named #Mohamed #Toure, who became known as #Askia the Great. This man earnt his title for overseeing the #Songhai empire’s #goldenage. He expanded their territory, enabling the #kingdom to engage in further trade with #merchants from #Europe, the #MiddleEast, and #Asia, who flocked to #WestAfrica in search of the #gold which was so abundant there. Askia the Great believed strongly in education. Like #MansaMusa before him, he invited #scholars from all over the world to his #empire, built many universities and schools, and gathered an enormous collection of manuscripts which could be studied by his people. He also had a keen interest in #astronomy, and therefore constructed an impressive number of observatories throughout his empire.
Askia’s reign was also successful for the political reforms he introduced. He centralised the government, and made Songhai into an organised and efficient civilisation. Askia was even admired by the people he conquered, especially the #Mossi, for his religious tolerance. He refused to convert to convert them to Islam against their will, and for this reason he was a man ahead of his time. Askia was loved by the #Muslims and non-Muslims in his empire, who were all able to practise their faith without persecution, and this is one of the reasons why his reign was so peaceful and prosperous.
As with the empires of #Mali and #Ghana before it, the Songhai kingdom should be source of great pride for African people of today. At a time when the rest of world was impoverished by disease, war, and a lack of education, #Africa was the beacon of #prosperity to the world, advancing humanity between the 5th and the 16th centuries.